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Camping in Illinois



About Illinois Camping

There’s a lot more to Illinois than the great city of Chicago. Along with this exciting urban hub there are many natural areas where locals and residents alike enjoy getting outside. With 141 parks it’s no wonder the DNR created the motto, “State Parks, Great Parks” in 2013. This phrase is the title of their initiative to continue improvements on local natural areas with upgraded campgrounds and additional staff to cater to the more than 44 million yearly visitors looking for hiking and camping in Illinois.

People from all over the state – and even outside the country – take the short 1.5-hour drive from Chicago to Starved Rock State Park, where they can hike 13 miles of trails offering elevation gains on wooded pathways along the Illinois River. The 18 canyons serve as great places to spot waterfalls after a rain and families love ending the day with s’mores around the bonfire at the nearby Starved Rock State Park campsites.

Those looking to learn about the state’s heritage while camping in Illinois may head farther south to Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park & Memorial. This 162-acre park is 12 miles southwest of Decatur near Harristown, IL, and features the land where Abraham Lincoln first resided in the state. If you visit be sure to check out the memorials commemorating this important president.

People who want to mountain bike in this Midwestern state will enjoy heading to Palos Park, a forest preserve known for its excellent biking, hiking and equestrian trails that cover over 50 miles of terrain. When it comes to camping in Illinois, this locale offers beautiful facilities at Camp Bullfrog Lake where you can put up a tent next to a lake and hike short or long loops that end up back at your campsite.

If you want to check out the beautiful Lake Michigan drive to Illinois Beach State Park to spend time in the water along the 6.5 miles of sandy shoreline. The park is 4,160 acres offering ample opportunities for hiking, watersports, picnicking, fishing and camping. With The Dyrt, you can be sure to find the best camping in Illinois during your stay in the Prairie State.

Recent Reviews In Illinois

1925 Reviews of 497 Illinois Campgrounds

T H.
Reviewed Oct. 26, 2021

crab orchard

very peaceful, cheap! full hookups $25

Month of VisitNovember
Lola K.
Reviewed Oct. 25, 2021

Something for Everyone

Spent two nights in Great Falls Campground on site#30.  Beautiful spot, but it was directly across from a playground, which I failed to read about when booking.  If you have kids, this is perfect for you.  The showers and bathrooms are old and dusty, but not unexpected at an old park. I drove thru…

SiteGreat Falls #30
Month of VisitNovember
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2021

Ambitiously Priced

The staff was friendly and helpful checking in. We arrived without a reservation. We were allowed to got check out the site and electric before paying. The electrical at site 302 was a good new 50 amp service. The bathroom/ shower house was clean and heated. There were plenty of open sites and no…

Month of VisitNovember
Ivana B.
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2021

Highly recommend

Very spacious, grassy and clean. There are a lot of people with RVs so it’s pretty lively. There is a Walmart right next to it. The bathrooms are clean. They host events like mini golf. Swings and playground for kids. Would stay there again

Month of VisitNovember
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2021

Great Campground

My wife, 2 grandkids and our dogs and were at site 22 from 10/10/21- 10/1\/21 camping in a Winnebago Micro Minnie 2108 TB. This was a great campground with fantastic views of the lake.

We also hiked Garden of the Gods and Burden Falls in the Shawnee National Forest. The hikes were great. I am…

  • (5) View All
Month of VisitNovember
Matt K.
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2021

Third weekend at Thomas Woods

I’ve been here two other weekends. Generally quiet and many of the tent spots are spaced out enough to provide privacy and quiet. Firewood is cheap on-site and delivered to your site on demand. Love this spot for proximity to my home so I can get out more frequently than a longer drive into…

  • (9) View All
Month of VisitNovember
Mike F.
Reviewed Oct. 23, 2021

Camping site well spead out!

I drove though this SP CG yesterday. Very spacious sites. Clean park, nice bath-house. Extra bonus, a great lake to fish on. This also had hunting for those that hunt. But there are multiple sites that would be challenging to level! Fire pits are enormous!

Month of VisitNovember
RThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 22, 2021

Good place to stop

South loop was crowded, but few people in the north loop in October. Bathrooms weren’t the cleanest, but flushing toilets and showers available. Paid $15 for full service spot. Cash only payment.

Month of VisitNovember
Cris C.
Reviewed Oct. 20, 2021

Quiet friendly camping

Price per night is $10 that includes electric and water only ...there is a dump station in the park as well drop your payment at the bathhouse on the honor system. There's lots of playgrounds for kids and a big lake to fish or stroll around as well. Big thumbs up👍

Month of VisitJuly
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2021

4 Day stay

Went up on a Friday stayed until Monday. Surprised at how quiet it was as the place was packed. The stars on a clear night is what keeps me coming back every year. (Surprised my camera picked up the stars that well)

  • (5) View All
Month of VisitOctober
Tonyi P.
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2021

Nice and quiet

Campground was nice and clean, has a beautiful walking trail, the camp host was nice. The restrooms and showers were super clean. Enjoyed our stay will definitely be back.

Month of VisitNovember
Lee S.
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2021

CAUTION! CRAP CAMPGROUND. Can I give a negative star review?

What an absolute craphole. We rented the Wrangler cabin for 2 nights, the cabin(single-wide trailer) looked as if it it was placed in the 1980's and has never been touched. The floor in the cabin was soft(rotted), they had about 3 or 4 stick in air freshners in the cabin, so many that both my wife…

SiteWrangler Cabin
Month of VisitNovember
TThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2021

NICE ! ! !

Beautiful campground. Very open & spacious. Sites are very large with plenty of room between neighbors. Also all sites are gravel & graded well and level except for the 2 Handicapped sites—Concrete pads on those (IL Disable RESIDENTS ONLY). Very good lake access & multiple public docks.…

Month of VisitNovember
LThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2021

Change of pace camping.

This gets 5 stars if I am camping alongside the river. Normally, I look for seclusion, but in this case, I enjoy watching the river flow by. The river barges navigate the river day and night, so you do get engine noises and spotlights at night as they keep track of their location along the shore.…

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Month of VisitNovember
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2021

Lakefront, Great Kayaking

We were lucky to have site #10 available when we arrived. It had a small trail leading to an alcove. We were able to easily port our kayaks to launch. There are many water lilies to work through/around. They weren't blooming when we were there, but I'm sure it's impressive when they are. It's a…

Month of VisitNovember

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